Phil Murphy’s convincing win in the gubernatorial election highlighted a successful night for NJEA’s endorsed candidates. While not all results are yet reported, a clear majority of NJEA’s endorsed legislative candidates were victorious, helping to ensure a pro-public education majority in the next legislative session. While NJEA-endorsed candidate Fran Grenier fell short in his race against incumbent Senate President Steve Sweeney, his insurgent campaign electrified New Jersey politics and energized NJEA members, who remain determined to endorse and campaign for pro-public education candidates regardless of party affiliation.
NJEA President Marie Blistan highlighted the effect that NJEA members had on the 2017 election. “From last October, when our members made an unprecedented early endorsement in the gubernatorial election, until the closing minutes of the election tonight, our members showed that they are willing and able to stand up for what they believe in. I could not be prouder of the effort that we made on behalf of all of our endorsed candidates. By working tirelessly for over a year to elect Phil Murphy, we have guaranteed a new direction for New Jersey after eight years of failed leadership. By standing with our allies in the Legislature, we have maintained a strong foundation for the next legislative session. And by taking on difficult fights that forced us to stand firm for what we believe in, we showed New Jersey that we will not back down when our values are at stake.”
NJEA Vice President Sean M. Spiller echoed Blistan’s sentiments. “We set out to make a difference in this election, and thanks to our members, we did. Our members know that standing for what’s right isn’t always easy, but it is always important. This election reminded everyone in New Jersey that we are willing to do that. Our members proved in this election that they have what it takes to stay involved for the long haul, and that’s exactly what we are going to do. This is just the beginning.”
NJEA Secretary-Treasurer Steve Beatty looked to the future. “We are excited to work with the Murphy administration and the incoming legislature to finally start moving New Jersey forward. In politics, elections are just the beginning. What comes next is even more important: we will hold our elected officials accountable for their votes. We will continue to advocate for our values and work to strengthen our public schools.”
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